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Kung Fu: The Complete First Season
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Kung Fu: The Complete First Season (DVD)
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For those of you unfamiliar with the show, allow me to give you a brief but honest rundown: a "western" of sorts, Kung-Fu deals with a Shaolin Priest (Cain) who is outlawed after killing the assassin who killed his old blind master Po (as well as the emperor's nephew, who was responsible.) Being half Chinese, half American, he escapes to the "old west" of America. There he embarks on a series of adventures dealing with racist cowboys, bloodthirsty bounty hunters and Chinese assassins sent to kill or return him (he is worth $10,000 alive and $5,000 dead.) This is a classic and unique series, dealing far more with humanity, Chinese philosophy and wisdom than fighting. Its cult value is hot, and its incredible acting and stories are memorable and striking. A show for those who like something different, where truth and gentleness can win out over lies and crudeness. He is one with nature. Yet he always maintains, "I am just a man."
Highly recommended for all audiences!
In the 70s, America was still embroiled in the Vietnam War when Carradine, who played Kwai Chang Caine, walked barefoot into the homes of viewers portraying a Chinese priest of the Shaolin Order who was also a Kung Fu martial arts expert.
Through Caine, complex themes of religion, spirituality, philosophy, violence, peace, racism, morality, greed, human dignity and cruelty were examined each week in the guise of an off-beat Western set in the 1800s.
Caine, who was part American, was forced to flee his homeland after his mentor, Master Po, portrayed brilliantly by Luke, was murdered by a royal guardman, who in turn was killed by Caine. The royal family issued an edict to capture Caine --- dead or alive.
Caine came to America in search of his half-brother, walking from town to town following leads as to his sibling's whereabouts.
While the story seems simple enough, it afforded the show's writers ample opportunities to explore the aforementioned themes by depicting Caine's interaction with those who lived in America's Old West, illustrating through the use of extensive flash-backs, the teachings of his Shaolin masters and his Chinese martial arts training. It also provided plenty of excitement and action through Carradine's use of Kung Fu in America, which he frequently employed to protect the less fortunate or otherwise vulnerable victim.
Caine's cultural views and religious training that stressed peaceful coexistance with his fellow man, equality and non-materialism, put him at odds with most of those he encountered.Read more ›
David Carradine's portrayal of Kwai Chang Caine was the first inactment of any martial art that most people in the states had ever seen and, to this day, that portrayal remains among the most inspirational for it's embodiment of Eastern ideals.
As for this first season set of DVDs, I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to learn anything about the drive behind learning a martial art, to fans of the series and to anyone wanting to instill humility and moral direction within themselves or their children. Kids may not want to give it a chance, things are a little different today than they were in the seventies.
I have no problem with the widescreen aspect ratio. The framing is very palatable to me and in no way is an excuse to miss out on the content of the show or to miss out on reliving some early inspirations that came out of the series. The quality of the picture and sound is top notch.
A truly inspirational series for any day and age
A brief episode guide:
Pilot: Kung Fu: The Way of the Tiger, The Sign of the Dragon. Caine flees to the United States after killing the Emperor's nephew.
1. King of the Mountain: A bounty hunter looking for Caine endangers a woman rancher and a homeless boy. guest star (gs): John Saxon.
2. Dark Angel: Caine helps a blinded preacher learn to use his other senses. gs: Robert Carradine, John Carradine.
3. Blood Brother : Caine seeks justice for a murdered friend.
4. An Eye for An Eye: A rape victim wants Caine's help to get revenge. (This episode won Emmy's for best director and cinematographer.)
5. The Tide: A woman with an ulterior motive helps a seriously injured Caine.
6. The Soul Is the Warrior: Caine helps a sheriff facing death.
7. Nine Lives: A miner looks for a cat to replace the cat he accidentally killed. gs: Geraldine Brooks.
8. Sun and Cloud Shadow: Caine acts as intermediary between Chinese miners and a mine owner.
9. Chains: Caine escapes from prison shackled to another prisoner.
10. Alethea: A young girl testifies that she saw Caine murder a man. gs: Jodie Foster.
11. The Praying Mantis Kills: A young boy defends the jail against the men who killed his father.
12. Superstition: When Caine is forced to work in a mine, a landslide traps him inside.
13.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
...and holds up surprisingly well. Some pop-Tao, some camp. So far (have viewed 5 only episodes) the treatment of First Nation peoples is, predictably, problematic -- especially... Read morePublished 8 months ago by the kid
I've always loved this TV show! I didn't really want to pay the price for all 3 seasons so I bought this one first. Now that I've seen it, I've ordered the other 2 seasons! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Len the Sound Guy
I like this show a lot not for the story which is always very simple and not very well written but for the lessons Caine (David Carradine) gets from his masters in the Shaolin... Read morePublished 15 months ago by FrenchTulipe
What can I say. Kung Fu was my favourite TV series when growing up. Now I can watch it repeatedly, for each time I learn some new wisdom hidden in the nuances of the show!Published on Jan. 7 2014 by Kevin
I purchased this for my husband for Christmas, he was delighted and surprised that I was able to get the whole first season including the premierePublished on Jan. 9 2013 by MaryAnn Oldham
I discovered disc 2, side B will not play. This was after the 30 day return period even though it was defective. I sure wish they had a phone # to talk to someone. Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by RC Kid
I'm so glad this is out! Watching this is like a visit with an old friend - it brings back many memories, and is just a joy to sit down and watch. Read morePublished on July 10 2004 by Damian P. Gadal
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